Smile Not Dead Yet

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Traditional yellow background with skull and smile beneath it. The designs are black.

Curl Text Smile, Not Dead Yet
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Tom Newton is the creator of, "Smile not dead yet." Newton is an artist who works in graphic design, illustration, and advertising. Some of his work was created through employment at Whole Wheat Creative, a Texas-based advertising company that works with businesses and local universities. Newton has also gone on to create packaging for recognizable brands such as McDonalds and Odwalla through his employment at CMA.

This button is a variation on the classic yellow smiley face that is comprised of a yellow circle, two black dots for eyes and a black arc ending in serifs for a mouth. It  was designed in 1963 by by commercial artist, Harvey Ross Ball. Ball was commissioned by The State Mutual Life Insurance Company to create a happy face to raise the morale of their employees. His version was created in 10 minutes. The design was printed onto more than 50 million buttons. Neither Ball nor the company copyrighted this smiley, so it was continually used by other businesses in their promotions.

The design and concept is quite simple and was definitely used before Ball’s 1963 version. However his has become the most iconic. Variations have been used for advertising campaigns and in popular culture ever since.


ILLUSTRATION — TOM NEWTON. (2019). Retrieved from…

Catalog ID SM0202